In 2016, UnitedHealthcare and Medtronic cut a deal that established the latter’s devices as the preferred insulin pumps for United members with diabetes. Now, the companies have announced year one data suggesting that members who took advantage of the companies’ arrangement experienced fewer preventable hospital admissions when compared to members relying on multiple daily injections of insulin.
“These results show that patients with diabetes can benefit from using insulin pumps and comprehensive support services, thereby increasing the quality of the care they receive and reducing hospital admissions as well as costs,” Dr. Peter Pronovost, chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare, said in a statement. “The first-year results are encouraging, and we will monitor patients using Medtronic pump therapies to ensure we continue to see improved quality of care, fewer hospitalizations, and lower costs.”
According to a release from Medtronic, the companies conducted an analysis including more than 6,000 United members with diabetes who use Medtronic’s MiniMed 630G or previous generations of the company’s insulin pumps. All data were collected from July 2016 through June 2017 and do not include users of the MiniMed 670G, which was released commercially near the end of the measurement period.
Among these members, which included those using both standalone pumps and pumps integrated with CGMs, the company saw a 27 percent lower rate of preventable hospital admissions over members not using these pumps.
"These positive results provide further evidence of the benefits of both automated insulin delivery and of value-based healthcare models" Hooman Hakami, EVP and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic, said in a statement. "Through this unique partnership, Medtronic and UnitedHealthcare have demonstrated a commitment by both organizations to prioritize innovation that improves health outcomes and lowers healthcare costs.”
Citing these new data and other recently presented findings — such as real-world data from 32,178 MiniMed 670G users that was presented at the American Diabetes Association’s annual conference in June — Medtronic said in a statement that the companies “anticipate further clinical outcome improvements over the duration of the relationship.” The announcement also noted that care quality and costs resulting from the multi-year arrangement will continue to be monitored.
Recently, the insulin pump maker’s biggest news has been a slew of various FDA approvals. In June alone Medtronic saw the agency expand approval of its MiniMed 670G to children aged seven years and older, and issue new clearance for its Deep Brain Stimulation Clinical Programmer and ActivaProgramming application. Earlier in the year, the company also enjoyed clearance of its smartphone-connected CGM, and an expanded indication for the MiniMed 670G to include the upper arm.